What is Mould?
Before you read about how to deal with mould, you should first find the answer to the question – what is mould? Mould, also known as fungi, is a microorganism that belongs to the kingdom of Fungi. It is a multicellular organism that grows as thin, thread-like structures called hyphae. These hyphae intertwine to form a network called mycelium, the visible part of the mould.
Mould spores are tiny, lightweight reproductive units produced by mould. They are present in the air and can quickly spread and settle on various surfaces. When mould spores find a suitable environment with moisture, oxygen, and organic matter, they can germinate and grow into visible mould colonies.
Mould can grow on various materials, including wood, paper, fabric, carpet, food, and even outside walls and roofs, stone & all exterior surfaces if the conditions are favourable. It thrives in damp and humid environments, such as bathrooms, basements, and areas affected by water leaks or flooding. Mould can also grow outdoors on decaying organic matter like fallen leaves or compost piles.
While mould plays a crucial role in the ecosystem by decomposing organic matter, it can become problematic when it grows outdoors. Mould can cause various health issues, especially for individuals with allergies or respiratory conditions so it becomes very essential to get mould removal services. Common symptoms of mould exposure include nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, eye irritation, and skin rashes.
What Causes Mould?
Now that you know what is mould, let’s figure out its causes and types. Mould is caused by excessive moisture combined with organic materials that provide a food source for mould spores. The main factors that contribute to mould growth are:
- Moisture: Mould requires moisture to grow. It can result from high humidity levels, condensation, pipes, roofs, or windows leaks, flooding, or inadequate ventilation.
- Organic Matter: Mould feeds on organic materials such as wood, paper, fabric, drywall, and even dust. These materials provide nutrients that support mould growth.
- Lack of Ventilation: Poor airflow and inadequate ventilation can create stagnant, humid environments that promote mould growth.
- Warmth: Mould thrives in temperatures ranging from 77°F to 86°F (25°C to 30°C), but it can grow in a broader temperature range.
What Are Different Types of Moulds?
There are numerous types of mould, and they vary in appearance, colour, texture, and potential health effects. Here are some common types of indoor mould:
- Alternaria: Usually found in damp areas like showers, bathtubs, and basements. It appears black or dark green and can cause allergic reactions.
- Aspergillus: This mould is commonly found indoors. It can be in various colours: green, brown, yellow, or grey. Aspergillus can cause respiratory issues and infections.
- Cladosporium: It is a black or green mould that grows on fabrics, carpets, and wood surfaces. It can trigger allergies and asthma symptoms.
- Penicillium: This mould has a blue or green appearance and is often found on water-damaged materials, wallpaper, and carpeting. Some species of Penicillium produce mycotoxins, which can have harmful health effects.
- Stachybotrys chartarum (Black Mould): This mould is dark black and slimy in texture. It typically grows on materials with high cellulose content, such as drywall, fiberboard, and wallpaper. Black mould is known for producing mycotoxins and can cause severe health issues.
These are just a few examples, and many other types of mould can be found in various environments. If you suspect mould growth in your home or workplace, it is advisable to consult with professionals for proper mould remediation.
Why is Mould Removal Important?
Mould removal is important for several reasons:
- Health Risks: Mould exposure can pose health risks, especially for individuals with allergies, respiratory conditions, or weakened immune systems. Mould spores and mycotoxins (toxic substances produced by some moulds) can trigger allergic reactions, respiratory symptoms, and even more severe health issues in sensitive individuals. Removing mould helps create a healthier indoor environment and reduces the risk of health problems associated with mould exposure.
- Structural Damage: Mould can cause structural damage to buildings and materials. It feeds on organic materials such as wood, render, and roofs, weakening their integrity over time. This can lead to structural issues, rot, and decay. Prompt mould removal can prevent further damage to the building and preserve its structural integrity.
- Prevention of Spreading: Mould spreads through the release of airborne spores. If mould is left untreated, it can rapidly spread to other areas of the building, contaminating more surfaces and potentially causing larger-scale mould infestations. Removing mould early helps prevent its spread and reduces the scope of remediation required.
- Improved Indoor Air Quality: Mould growth can contribute to poor air quality. Mould spores and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by moulds can contaminate the air, leading to musty odours and potentially causing respiratory irritation and other health problems. By removing mould, the air quality improves, creating a more comfortable and healthier living or working environment.
- Addressing the Underlying Issue: Mould growth is often an indicator of underlying moisture problems or water damage. By addressing the source of moisture and fixing any leaks or dampness, mould removal helps prevent future mould growth and associated issues. Identifying and eliminating the moisture source is crucial to create an environment inhospitable to mould growth.
How to Get Rid of Mould?
Removing Mould from Different Surfaces
You should know that different surfaces demand different removal techniques when removing mould. So, if you ask how to remove mould from a roof, how to remove mould from external surfaces or how to remove mould from concrete, the answer would vary.
How to Remove Mould From Ceiling?
- Put on protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and a mask.
- Open windows or use fans to provide ventilation in the area.
- Mix a solution of water and bleach.
- Apply the solution to the affected area using a spray bottle or sponge.
- Let the solution sit for about 15 minutes to penetrate the mould.
- Agitate the mould using a brush or sponge.
- Rinse the area with clean water and dry it thoroughly.
- You may need to consult professional mould remediation services if the mould persists.
Does Bleach Kill Mould?
If you plan on trying DIY mould removal methods, you must have searched on the web – does bleach kill mould? Yes, bleach can kill mould, but they have different properties and considerations for use:
- Bleach: Bleach, specifically chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite), is a powerful disinfectant that can effectively kill mould. It is commonly used for mould remediation. Bleach breaks down the mould’s proteins and enzymes, rendering it inactive. However, bleach should be used cautiously as it can emit strong fumes, is harmful if ingested or inhaled, and can damage certain materials and surfaces. Following safety precautions and using bleach in a well-ventilated area is essential.
When using bleach to remove mould:
- For bleach, mix 1 litre of bleach with 6 litres of water.
- Apply the solution to the mouldy area using a spray bottle or sponge.
- Allow the solution to sit for several minutes to penetrate the mould.
- Scrub the area gently with a brush or sponge.
- Rinse the area with clean water and dry it thoroughly.
Remember to wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and a mask when working with mould and cleaning solutions.
How to Prevent Mould Growth?
Preventing mould growth involves controlling moisture levels and creating an environment where mould is less likely to thrive. Here are some measures you can take to prevent mould growth:
- Ensure proper airflow throughout your home. Use fans or open windows to improve ventilation and reduce moisture build up.
- Avoid blocking air vents and keep furniture away from walls to promote air circulation.
Fix Leaks and Moisture Issues
- Regularly inspect your home for water leaks from gutters, downpipes, roofs, windows, or appliances. Repair them promptly.
- Address any signs of dampness, such as condensation on windows or water stains on eaves or external cladding.
Properly Maintain and Clean
- Regularly clean and dry areas prone to moisture, especially those that may not get sunlight such as the south side of your property.
- Clean and dry any water-damaged materials promptly to prevent mould growth.
Monitor Exterior Plants
- Plants are basically fibre & water so it’s not beneficial to have them too close to your home / building.
- Excess moisture can encourage mould growth in the soil and plant surfaces.
- Ensure good drainage on all exterior surfaces and ensure there is good drainage on any ground surfaces
Mould Removal vs Mould Remediation
Were you trying to deal with the mould growth at your home/building and now are troubled by whether to go for mould removal or mould remediation? Let’s go through both and find the winner in mould removal vs mould remediation.
Mould removal in Melbourne or any other area typically refers to removing visible mould growth from surfaces, especially on the south side of properties or those areas that are shaded. This involves using cleaning agents, such as bleach or specialised mould removal products, to scrub or wipe away the mould. It focuses on eliminating the visible signs of mould and restoring the affected area to its previous condition.
Mould remediation goes beyond just removing visible mould. It involves a more comprehensive approach to address the underlying cause of the mould growth and prevent its recurrence. Mould remediation aims to identify and address the source of moisture or humidity that is promoting mould growth, as mould thrives in damp environments. This may involve fixing leaks, pruning plants/trees back to allow more air flow, or addressing other issues that contribute to excess moisture.
How Can Professional Mould Removers in Melbourne Help You?
Hiring professional mould removers can provide several benefits when dealing with mould infestations. Here are some advantages of engaging with professional mould removal in Melbourne.
- Professional mould removers have specialised knowledge and experience in dealing with mould-related issues. Their expertise allows them to assess the extent of the mould problem, identify hidden mould, and develop appropriate remediation strategies.
- Different types of mould require other treatment methods. Professional mould removers can accurately identify the type of mould present in your property and determine the most suitable approach for its removal.
- Mould can be persistent and challenging to eliminate. Professionals have the tools, equipment, and techniques to remove mould thoroughly.
- Mould removal can involve exposure to potentially harmful mould spores and mycotoxins. Professional mould removers are trained in implementing safety measures to protect themselves and the occupants of the property.
- Mould spores can quickly spread to unaffected areas during removal, leading to new mould growth. Professional mould removers employ containment strategies to isolate the affected areas, preventing cross-contamination.
So, if you are dealing with a significant mould problem, consulting and hiring professional mould cleaning in Australia is often recommended.
How Much Does Mould Removal Melbourne Cost?
One question we ask before availing of a mould removal service is how much does mould removal cost? The cost of mould removal in Melbourne, or any other location, can vary depending on several factors. Here are some factors that can influence the cost of mould removal:
- Size and extent of the Infestation
- Type of mould
- Accessibility of the mould
- Structural damage
- Containment and safety measures
- Remediation techniques and equipment
- Pre- and post-remediation testing
- Additional services include restoration of water damage, moisture control, cleaning, etc.
It is important to note that mould removal costs vary among service providers. It is advisable to contact multiple reputable mould remediation companies in Melbourne to obtain detailed quotes and understand the specific factors and services included in their pricing.
But now, you have all the answers to most common mould–related questions – what is mould, how to get rid of mould, how to clean mould, how to remove mould from exterior surfaces, how much does mould removal cost and a lot more. If you are dealing with a mould infestation and looking for effective mould cleaning in Australia, connect with our team at Exterior Clean Melbourne. Reach out to us to clarify any doubts or to avail yourself of professional mould removal in Australia.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mould
There is no foolproof method to permanently kill mould, as it can reappear if the underlying moisture issue is not addressed. However, effective mould removal in Melbourne involves eliminating the moisture source, thoroughly cleaning, and using mould-killing solutions like, bleach, or commercial mould cleaners.
Professional mould removal typically includes:
- Assessing the extent of the mould infestation and identifying the moisture source.
- Assessing the substrate/surface to ensure care is taken when cleaning.
- Implementing containment measures to prevent cross-contamination.
- Using specialised equipment and techniques for thorough cleaning and removal of mould.
- Addressing the underlying moisture issue to prevent future mould growth.
- Conducting post-remediation testing to ensure effective removal.
Yes, black mould, known as Stachybotrys, should be removed professionally. It is a particularly toxic type of mould that can have severe health effects. Due to its potential risks and the need for specialised containment and removal techniques, professional help is recommended for black mould remediation.
If black mould is left untreated, it can grow and release mycotoxins into the air. Prolonged exposure to black mould can cause respiratory problems, allergies, headaches, fatigue, and even severe health issues. It is essential to address black mould promptly to minimise health risks.
To kill mould on walls, you can use bleach. Mix one part bleach with six parts water, apply it to the mouldy area, let it sit for 15 minutes, then scrub and rinse.